Loyal customers cost less
Though all customers and hotel guests are highly appreciated and special, there’s something particularly valuable about loyal customers.
According to a study conducted by Harvard, hosting returning customers cost less compared to hosting new, first-time guests and customers. The study suggests that “Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one”.
Making customers loyal is challenging
However, making customers loyal to a brand is almost considered as art in today’s competitive market, and the hotel industry is no exception. Not only must hoteliers ensure their hotels meet their guests’ demands for exceptional service they should also aim to differentiate their hotels from other hotels, in which is a challenge as all hotels in general offer many of the same services.
How can hoteliers improve guest loyalty?
Personal approach vs. immediate check-in
It is said that you must meet your guests with a personal approach in order to make them feel welcome and appreciated. However, is a personal approach always key? It all boils down to what type of customer you’re dealing with. Every customer is different, and while some customers, elders, in particular, expect to be greeted with a smile and a warm welcome, other guests, such as busy business travelers, may just want to check in straight away.
Every customer is different
Facil conducted a study with the purpose of finding out how hotel receptionists in Oslo dealt with different customers and their needs. By interviewing receptionists we got an indicator suggesting that older customers prefer the personal approach, probably because they generally are less up to date in terms of technical devices. Business visitors on the other hand, and younger guests in general, more commonly want things to go as smooth and quick as possible. For this group, a solution like Facil is very ideal.
Freedom of choice
However, all customers, whether they want the personal approach or not, will benefit in some way if your hotel uses Facil; the more guests check in via the app, the less waiting for the customers who want to be personally met in the reception. Facil allows your hotel to give guests the freedom of choice, so they can choose whether they want to check-in via the app or personally via the reception. Facil makes it simple to prioritize the hotel guests who need a more personal approach as the queue gets smaller or disappears completely. Facil is not about removing the need for a reception, but rather about improving the reception.
Giving customers freedom of choice is a good move when aiming to make more loyal customers as it makes the overall hotel experience more comfortable for the guests. Hoteling is all about making the stay as comfortable as possible, and this takes us to the next step, which is to make booking simple.
Make the booking process as simple as possible
Having a slow and burdensome booking process is definitely a no-go if you want your guests to repeat booking at your hotel and become loyal. Guests are often tired and exhausted from traveling when arriving at hotels, so meet them with a hassle-free and simple booking process. Prevent them from booking somewhere else next time by giving them the best experience possible.
With the Facil app, you allow your guests to check in by the simplest way possible. They don’t need to stay in the queue and wait, and there is no need for filling out registration papers. Everything is done beforehand so they can check-in straight away when they arrive. And as already mentioned, for those who want to check-in personally by the reception, they are guaranteed good service as the receptionists fully can prioritize and concentrate on those who need it the most.
Customer Safety and data security
Making your guests feel safe when it comes to their private information and data security is more important than ever before. Hotels are at particular risk for cyber attacks when holding vast amounts of customer data, and hotel hacking becomes more and more common. Ensuring for your guests’ safety and being GDPR compliant your guest will feel like you really care about them and their well being, in which definitely will make them more loyal to your hotel.
In addition, studies suggest a preference for mobile keys. By providing your guests with mobile keys, for instance via the Facil app, they won’t have to handle a key card again as their smart device becomes their key. Guests are definitely more likely to lose a key card compared to losing their phone, so this is another safety aspect of Facil that will improve your overall credibility.
Having essential values
By using Facil and dropping plastic key cards, your guests do something good for the environment and they will feel good about staying at your hotel. Customers progressively expect brands to have essential values today, as values add a sort of personality and credibility to a brand. Values make it seem like the business or brand is about more than just the products or services being offered and sold. Customers increasingly want to connect to their brand on a deeper level, and feel like they are part of something big and important, like having more environmental awareness. Values make customers more engaged in their brands, and hence more loyal.